Federal Government Grants $30 Million to the Clean-Up of Randle Reef by aya20861


									    Br ing ing Back the Bay
                     Number 59 Winter 2007/2008                                                                                     BARC Newsletter

                     Federal Government Grants $30 Million
                     to the Clean-Up of Randle Reef

                                                         n Friday, November 9,
                                                         the Honourable John
                                                 B a i r d , M i n i s te r of t h e
                                                 Environment, David Sweet,
                                                 Member of Parliament
                                                 for       A n c a s t e r- D u n d a s -

                                                 Flamborough-Westdale and
                                                 Mike Wallace, Member of
                                                 Parliament for Burlington,
                                                 announced               that       the
                                                 G ove r n m e nt of Ca n ad a
                                                 was investing $30 million to
                     clean-up the contaminated sediment at Randle Reef.

                     BARC was honoured to have its very own Jim Hudson
                                                                                            capping and containing the toxic coal tar deposits late next
                     asked to MC the event and to have our Board President, Scott
                                                                                            year or early in 2009.
                     Koblyk, asked to speak as well. The federal government’s
                     contribution, together with the $30 million pledged by the             “Delivering action to cleaning up the Great Lakes and our
                     provincial government in August, will make it possible to start        Canadian waters is important for this government,” said
                                                                                            Minister Baird. “We know that Randle Reef is a priority and
                                                                                            that is why our government is putting its funding on the table
                                                                                            immediately to ensure that the Hamilton lakefront returns to
                                       TABLE OF CONTENTS                                    productive economic and recreational use for the benefit of
                                                                                            us and our children.”
                         Bay Watch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .         page 2

                         Shoreline Cleanup a                                                  The Minister was welcomed by Hamilton Mayor Fred
                         Huge Success . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          page 3   Eisenberger, Burlington Mayor Cam Jackson and many other
                         Time to Hit the Beaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       page 4   local politicians, environmentalists, scientists and business
                                                                                            leaders including MPs David Christopherson and Wayne
                         A Fish on the Fence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       page 5
                                                                                            Marston, President and CEO of the Hamilton Port Authority,
                         A Goose's Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .        page 6   Keith Robson, John Shaw, John Hall and BARC’s former
                         RAP Update. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   page 7
                                                                                            Executive Director, Marilyn Baxter.

                     The Bay Area Restoration Council is at the centre of community efforts to revitalize Hamilton Harbour and its watershed.
                                                                                                                   Bringing Back the Bay   Winter 2007/2008   1
Season’s Greetings from BARC!
The staff at BARC would like to wish you a happy and safe holiday season and a prosperous new year!

BARC Welcomes Co-Op Student
BARC extends a warm welcome to Val Duncescu. Val is a Westdale High School student who is doing her co-op term
with us. Val has a number of duties around the office. Her main project is to research information for our upcoming
Toward Safe Harbours report, which will focus on beach closures. Val is also a participant in our Adopt-a-Creek
program this year. Welcome Val!

Classroom Mini Marsh Program Growing
Over 270 elementary school classrooms in and around Hamilton participated in our Classroom Mini Marsh program this
year, an increase of 50 classrooms from last year!

2008 Dates to Remember
January 23         BARC’s Wine Tasting & Silent Auction in Support of Our Harbour
Mid-March          BARC’s Community Workshop
April 26           Earth Day Tree Planting
May 21–23          Children’s Water Festival
June 14            Nature Walk for Our Environment

For information on these and other events, please visit our events page at http://www.hamiltonharbour.ca/events.

Life Sciences Building – B130F
                                                            Bringing Back the Bay is published four times per
1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4K1
                                                            year. Articles in this newsletter reflect the views of
Tel: (905) 527-7111 Email: barc@hamiltonharbour.ca          the individual contributors. Your comments and
www.hamiltonharbour.ca                                      letters to the editor are encouraged.

                                                            Newsletter Editor: Cindy Smith
President: Scott Koblyk                                     Newsletter Design: Launchbox Inc.
Executive Director: Jim Hudson
Communications Manager: Cindy Smith                         Funding for this newsletter generously provided by the Ontario
Project Coordinator: Kelly Pike                             Ministry of the Environment.

                                                                                      Bringing Back the Bay   Winter 2007/2008   2
Shoreline Cleanup a Huge Success!

O      n Saturday, September 22, the Bay
       Area Restoration Council held its 5th
annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.
Over 80 volunteers came out to clean up the
trail between Princess Point and Bayfront
Park. In just two hours, volunteers collected
more than 80 bags of garbage. This trash
would otherwise have endangered wildlife
and ruined enjoyment of the trail by the
public. This year was especially successful
as water levels were very low and we were
able to reach debris not normally visible,
including tires, old bikes, pylons and several
shopping carts.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is

                                                                                         PHOTO: CINDY SMITH
a national campaign run by the Vancouver
Aquarium and sponsored generously by
TD Canada and the TD Friends of the
Environment Foundation. What started over
14 years ago as a small beach cleanup by
four Vancouver Aquarium employees has
now grown into the second largest cleanup
in the world.

                                                                                                                                                             PHOTO: CINDY SMITH
                                                                                         PHOTO: KELLY PIKE

A special thank you to those who came out
to help. We hope to see you again next year!
Thank you also to those who brought along
canoes. You retrieved garbage that the rest
of us could not. A job well done by all!

BARC Puts Down Roots at Marsh
Volunteer Plantings

V   olunteer planters trooped into Cootes Paradise again
    this year for BARC’s Annual Marsh Volunteer Plantings,
to support the Royal Botanical Gardens’ marsh restoration
                                                                      which were dug out, restoring marsh conditions. The excess
                                                                      soil was used to form mounds onto which native species are
projects. 15 volunteers loaded down with hip waders, rubber
boots, gloves and trowels spent two beautiful mornings                This annual program is a great opportunity for those of us
planting various native marsh plant species to restore the            who enjoy and care about Hamilton and its watershed to
natural landscape.                                                    directly participate in sustaining the health and beauty of the
Originally an area filled in with sediment runoff from agricultural
lands, the marsh was recreated by producing high and low              BARC is looking forward to next year’s Marsh Volunteer
areas. Water from Cootes Paradise now fills in the low areas,         Plantings and we hope you will consider joining us.

                                                                                                              Bringing Back the Bay   Winter 2007/2008   3
                     Time to Hit
                                                                                            We now know that beach pollution is primarily due to
                                                                                            “goose poop” (to use a non-scientific term). Researchers at
                                                                                            Canada’s National Water Research Institute, located at the

                     the Beaches?
                     BY JIM HUDSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR &
                                                                                            Canada Centre for Inland Waters, have used new tools to
                                                                                            prove this link. In doing so, they have eliminated waste water
                                                                                            plant effluent and industrial pollution as suspected causes.
                     KELLY PIKE, PROJECT COORDINATOR                                        They even managed to rule out dogs and cats by taking their
                                                                                            “poop scoops” to the pound.

                                                            T     he fall and winter may
                                                                  seem more like the
                                                            time of year to hit the books
                                                                                            Of major concern is that the level of bacteria from fecal matter
                                                                                            is highest in the sand right near the water’s edge and in the
                                                            rather than the beach, yet      water at ankle depth. Unfortunately, that is exactly where
                                                            it is a very good time to get   young children prefer to play.
                                                            going on what we can do

                                                            to ensure that our beaches      Many approaches to beach management are being piloted at
                                                            are open more of the time       waterfronts across North America. Let’s see if we can adopt
                                                            in summers to come.             some ‘best practices’ for our waterfront.

                                                         With that in mind, BARC’s
                                                         Monitoring Committee has
                     selected the topic of beach pollution as its area of focus for

                                                                                                                                                                   PHOTO: CINDY SMITH
                     this year and the subject of our 2008 Towards Safe Harbour
                     report. Hamilton Works’ Andy Sebestyen has agreed to
                     lead this effort as Chair of the committee. In addition to the
                     returning committee members who produced this year’s
                     report card, Kelly Pike will be the BARC staff person helping
                     drive this forward.

                     Fire in Dundas: Pesticide Plant Spurs
                     Local Concern
                     BY CHERYL   DE   BOER, BARC DIRECTOR                                   interested citizens who are committed to following up on
                                                                                            the actions of Biedermann and the responsible authorities

                     I  n late July, the Biedermann Pesticide Packaging Plant
                        located in the Dundas Industrial Park caught fire which
                     resulted in the discharge of toxic materials into Spencer
                                                                                            to ensure that actions are taken that are in the best interests
                                                                                            of the community and Spencer Creek. BARC has become
                                                                                            an active member of this group and is interested in a
                     Creek from the douse water used to fight the fire. This                number of issues including the adequacy of the regulation of
                     caused the immediate death of thousands of fish and will               Ontario pesticide through the Ontario Pesticide Act and the
                     likely have lasting impacts on the health of the creek and the         development of community Right to Know legislation.
                     receiving waters of Cootes Paradise. The facility is involved
                     in the storage and packaging of various pesticides, which is           Additionally, The City of Hamilton has requested a Province
                     why the effects on the stream were so severe.                          led inquiry into the events that occurred that evening. This
                                                                                            also has the backing of local MPP Ted McMeekin, though no
                     In the aftermath of this unfortunate situation, a number of            official response from the Ministry of the Environment has yet
                     individuals were left questioning how and why this was able to         been made public.
                     happen and equally important, how this could be prevented
                     from happening again. The initial result was a public meeting          The good work done to date remediating the Harbour should
                     organized by Environment Hamilton where information was                not be jeopardized by accidents such as this. Everything
                     given to the public from a Biedermann representative, the              possible should be done to prevent it from happening again.
                     Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Hamilton Fire Fighters,           All interested parties are encouraged to contact BARC,
                     a local biologist who preformed testing and others. This               Environment Hamilton or their local MPP for more information
                     meeting led to the development of a working group of                   or ways that they can get involved in this local action.

                                                                                                                    Bringing Back the Bay   Winter 2007/2008   4
                         A Fish on the Fence
                         BY KELLY PIKE, PROJECT COORDINATOR

                         I  f you see wooden fish on school
                            fences in your neighbourhood, it
                         isn’t poor eyesight. On October 17
                         and 19, BARC staff members, Cindy
                         and Kelly, were trained for the new
                         Stream of Dreams™ program. This
                         program combines education and art
                         to increase community awareness
                         about watershed health.        Af ter
                         learning about the local watershed,
                         students paint wooden fish. These
                         fish are hung collectively on the
                         school fence as a mural, enhancing
                         the beauty of the neighbourhood and
                         reminding the community that we all
                         live in a watershed.
                                                                                        backside of a storage building along the waterfront, are
                         The Stream of Dreams™ program is expected to go
                                                                                        proudly displayed to trail users and boaters as they pass.
                         over quite well in our area. During Hamilton Port Days
                         this past August, children were able to paint some of the      This will be BARC’s biggest educational program to date.
                         program’s wooden fish thanks to Jim Harnum’s group             The program is run with the whole school, reaching every
                         partnership and funding through the Hamilton Waterfront        student. The resulting mural is nothing short of spectacular.
                         Trust’s Hamilton Fishing Derby. The fish, mounted on the       Stay tuned!

                         Fishy Business at Mac
                         BY KELLY PIKE, PROJECT COORDINATOR

                         O     n Saturday, September 29, six students from McMaster
                               University traded in their textbooks and lab coats for
                         jigsaws and paint smocks. The goal: to prepare wooden fish
                                                                                        The students were taking part in Mac Serve, a project
                                                                                        coordinated by the Service Learning Department at McMaster
                                                                                        University in partnership with Volunteer Hamilton. Students
                         for the Stream of Dreams™ program.                             were placed in organizations throughout the city to make a
                                                                                        difference through hands-on volunteer work.

                                                                                        Thank you to our six Mac Serve students, as well as to those
                                                                                        who supplied materials. A special thank you to those who
                                                                                        stopped by to give us a hand. Our community will be more
                                                                                        beautiful because of it!

                                                                                        Volunteers Needed!
                                                                                        B    ARC needs volunteers to help make plywood fish for its

                                                                                             new Stream of Dreams™ program. The fish are made
                                                                                        from ½ inch plywood and come in a variety of shapes and
                                                                                        sizes. Anyone with experience using a jig or band saw would
                                                                                        be much appreciated. We also need people to sand and
                                                                                        paint the fish with a base coat. We have nearly 1,300 students
                                                                                        already registered for the program, so we need lots of help!
                                                                                        For more information please contact Kelly at BARC.

                                                                                                               Bringing Back the Bay   Winter 2007/2008   5
                         An Exciting Look at Our Harbour’s Past

                         B    ARC proudly presented the first public viewing of “The
                              People and the Bay, The Story of Hamilton Harbour” at its
                         fourth annual History Night.

                         In this documentary film, produced by the L.R. Wilson Centre for
                         Canadian History and Pixel Dust Studios, McMaster University
                         historians Nancy Bouchier and Ken Cruikshank presented
                         people, places and events from our city’s past.

                         BARC had a record turn out at the event and thanks everyone
                         who came out and helped make this year’s history night a great

                         A Goose’s Life: Irony on the Beach

                         I love bread. LOVE it. I could eat bread twenty-four-seven.
                           And grass, I love grass too. Especially nicely mown grass.
                                                                                             bring us free food. And they do! So we stick around the
                                                                                             beach eating and dropping goose dumplings. Then the
                                                                                             fecal coliform mixes with water and soaks into the sand so
                                                                                             it’s difficult to clean up, and the little kids get to dig around
                         Frankly, I just love eating. I’ll eat almost anything. Sometimes,   in it, and it contaminates the shallow water near the shore.
                         I’ll eat a rock just because I can. My digestive system is a        Suddenly, you’ve got yourself a fine example of bacteria
                         freaking miracle of evolution. It’s so efficient, it cranks out     in action and the beach gets closed and we geese get the
                         two pounds – TWO POUNDS – of luscious, green waste every            whole thing to ourselves. Awesome!
                         day. Seriously, if there were a world championship for going
                         Number Two, my fellow geese and I would totally dominate.           The absolute best part is that the humans are making such an
                         I probably do my business sixty times a day. You humans             effort to clean up the harbour – and we appreciate it, honestly
                         think you’re hot stuff if you do it twice. Amateurs.                – but then we geese ruin the beaches with poop. Nice job
                                                                                             by us. I’m not exactly sure what “irony” means, but this is
                                                               The beauty of goose           probably a pretty good example.
                                                               poop is that it’s packed
                                                               with fecal coliform. I’m      Sadly for us, people could keep us off their beaches if they
                                                               not sure what that is         really wanted to. Put up some exclusion fences or vegetative
                                                               because I’m a goose and       barriers, keep the mown grass back from the water, use
                                                               never took biology, but I     flags and streamers, and maybe even some motion-sensing
                                                               know it’s nasty.              sprinklers and suddenly, the beach isn’t so fun for a goose.

                                                                                             But mostly, they could just stop feeding us. If they did, we’d
                                                           My friends and I love             go somewhere else. It’s not like we can’t find food pretty
                                                           ha nging ou t whe re              much everywhere. Geese may be stupid, but we’re not
                                                           there’s grass and easy            dumb. We’re also hungry.
                                                           access from the land
                                                           to the water and back                                            BARC president, Scott Koblyk,
                                                           – a place like a beach,                                 writes a weekly on-line humour column
                         for example. Beaches are so great for geese, in fact, that                                               at www.sundaymonkey.ca
                         the only way they could be better would be to have people

                                                                                                                     Bringing Back the Bay   Winter 2007/2008   6
                                 RAP Office Update
                                 From the RAP Office                                RAP Office
                                 by John D. Hall MCIP, RPP                          Canada Centre for Inland Waters
                                 Hamilton Harbour RAP Coordinator                   867 Lakeshore Road, Box 5050
                                 John.Hall@ec.gc.ca                                 Burlington, Ontario L7R 4A6
                                                                                    (905) 336-6279

Going Back to School
B    ARC released its report card in its last newsletter with
     the headline “Significant Progress Since 2002.” While
we have passing grades in each category, the Hamilton
                                                                   It is the big projects, however, that will lead us to delisting
                                                                   in 2015. Randle Reef construction must get underway in
                                                                   2008/09. This is becoming more of a reality with funding
Harbour Remedial Action Plan (HHRAP) has tough ‘parents’           commitments announced by both the provincial and the
- the community and only straight ‘A’s will do.                    federal governments. Upgrades to the Hamilton and Halton
                                                                   wastewater treatment systems are being planned that will
The Bay Area Implementation Team (BAIT) is the 18-member           create the water quality conditions required to meet delisting
group charged with carrying out the many remedial actions.         criteria and support fish and wildlife restoration. Federal
In fact, their work plan, updated for 2006 to 2011, contains       / provincial infrastructure funding programs will need to
185 tasks to accomplish the delisting of Hamilton Harbour as       support these initiatives if they are to be constructed within
an “Area of Concern” under the Great Lakes Water Quality           the required time frame.
                                                                   During the past year, the HHRAP Technical Team has been
Congratulations to the Hamilton Waterfront Trust for coming        working hard to evaluate Harbour conditions and proposed
home with an ‘A’ for providing wonderful public access to          remedial actions. This is a major reassessment of the HHRAP
the Harbour. It is this public connection to the Harbour that      delisting objectives and was called for in the original HHRAP
pushes the other BAIT members to work hard at their various        documents of 1992.
                                                                   Yes, significant progress has been made since the start of
Beach openings got the lowest score, a ‘D.’ When presenting        the HHRAP, but we have some of the hardest and most costly
the report card to Hamilton Council, Jim Hudson and I were         work ahead of us if we are to meet the challenge of bringing
asked, “why is the money not allocated to get the beaches          home straight ‘A’s for the Bay. Are we ready?
open?” Jim put it back to council, “provide the funding for
the Hamilton Parks Department to keep gulls and geese off
the beaches … the harbour water arriving at the beaches
meets swimming standards. It is the birds on the beaches
contaminating the swimming.”

The biggest positive change in the report card (close to a ‘B’
average) was the area of Watershed Management. Hamilton
is planning for a more compact urban growth pattern
intended to better utilize infrastructure. This, combined
with the Provincial Greenbelt legislation and Places to Grow
                                                                                                                                          PHOTO: CINDY SMITH

requirements, creates conditions for a more sustainable
future. Strong environmental protection for natural lands
is now identified in the Hamilton, Burlington and Halton
Official Plans. Moving from a ‘B’ average to an ‘A’ will require
municipalities to put into practice their best intentions.

                                                                                           Bringing Back the Bay   Winter 2007/2008   7
                                                                               Wine Tasting & Silent Auction In
                                                                                Support of Hamilton Harbour
                                                                                 Wednesday, January 23, 2008
                                                                                 The Royal Hamilton Yacht Club
                                                                              Join BARC and special guest, Sunni Genesco as Master
                                                                              of Ceremonies, for a wine tasting and silent auction as
                                                                              we raise money in support of our bay. Enjoy a buffet of
                                                                              hot and cold appetizers against the backdrop of our
                                                                              picturesque harbour.

                                                                              6:00 p.m.: Doors Open & Silent Auction Begins
                                                                              8:30 p.m.: Silent Auction Begins to Close

                                                                              Tickets: $35

                                                                              For tickets, visit hamiltonharbour.ca, call
                                                                              905-527-7111, or email us at barc@hamiltonharbour.ca.

Photo: Brian Henley

For more information on this and other events, please visit our website at www.hamiltonharbour.ca/events

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                                                                                      Bringing Back the Bay     Winter 2007/2008   8

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